Youth-led Organization Commemorates World Suicide Prevention Day
Correspondent- Suicide is one complex issue that has continued to affect our daily lives. Each case is unique to its own and the causes are entirely different. Every year, nations all over the world commemorate World Suicide Prevention Day with this year's theme tagged "Creating Hope Through Action"
A youth-led organization from Bulawayo called Youth Support Network Trust has joined several other entities in commemorating this day. This is a grassroots nonprofit and lived experience led organization whose mission is to educate empower and support families and communities to better understand and care for the mental health of young people in Zimbabwe. The Co-Director of the organization Mr Ntokozo Nyathi founded this great initiative after he was diagnosed with major depression and anxiety disorder in 2017 and struggled to access mental health services.
In commemorating the WSPD 2021, the organization came up with several activities to engage the community in talking about suicide prevention and giving hope to the affected. Under their strategic program "Mental Café" which is directed by Mr Brunswick N. Mangena, the initiative has approached several individuals who are influential in communities and interviewed them about suicide and how to prevent it. The program also identified a suicide victims family, a chaplain and resident leaders, some youth, church leaders and health experts to shed light on the subject. Most of these activities will be available on podcast and YouTube in the coming days. The initiative will also have time to speak about this topic on one of the radio stations on the day of the commemorations. Our full time members and volunteers are certified trained youth and mental health experts.
Mr Nyathi said "On the 10th of September we will be commemorating World Suicide Prevention Day. On this day we want to raise awareness on suicide, the causes and how best people we can help young people stop taking their own lives. We're sending out a message to the communities that suicide is not an option. We want to help minimize suicide cases as much as we can. Talking about mental health is something people often shy upon. No body often wants to be linked to mental health problems but the truth nearly each and every one of us has to take care of their mental health."
Concerning suicide, Mr Mangena implied that talking about death in the African perspective has been deemed sacred and children's understanding was often overlooked, let alone suicide deaths have always been taboo and elders would not even tell their children such stories even when their relatives would have been victims. "Whilst that helped in those days, it's no longer applicable to a generation that has been exposed to information and not talking about it will cause more harm since suicide cases have been on the rise especially to the youth" said Mr Mangena.
Youth Support Network Trust helps people access mental health services. Their philosophy is to Educate people about mental health related illness with up-to-date information and resources, Empower those with mental health disorders or their families and communities and provide a Support based system. The organization provides a safe space for people to speak out when they're battling mentally so that they can be helped before it's too late, making such information available even to teens and youth.
You can know more about the organization on their website www.youthsupportnetworktrust.org.zw For counseling, call Thandekile on +263 77 454 3595
For more information about the organization contact Langelihle on +263 78 319 8521 or email